This month I’ve been entangling my studio and writing process over three performances:
1) Thursday, April 7th at Flowchart (produced by Amelia Erhardt at Artscape Sandbox in Toronto)
2) Saturday, April 9th at Arcadia (in support by Coman Poon, in Toronto)
3) Saturday, April 16th at Arcadia
Below are some images and videos from each performance. (A high res video will be provided from Flowchart, I just haven’t received it yet.)
Two more vids from the April 9th show:
For each show, I selected a chapter from my thesis paper. I picked the dubious sections – the ones that I had some questions about, and were written in the live moments of the studio so the language is personal, self-referencing, and far too overwrought for a traditional paper.
I projected my laptop onto the back wall. I then deployed Schpando to lead the editing session.
She only addressed the audience through the laptop. There was a text box with instructions for the audience:
“HELLO. Thank you for coming.
I’M SHARING A SECTION OF MY THESIS PAPER WITH YOU.
I PICKED A DUBIOUS PART.
THIS THING IS TOO LONG.
I NEED YOUR HELP EDITING IT.
We will spend 40 minutes together.
I MADE THE TEXT OF THIS PAPER BY MOVING IN THE STUDIO.
THIS PAPER WILL NEVER BE FINISHED.
IT IS AN OPENING,
NOT A CLOSED ENTITY.
I INVITE YOU TO USE THE PAPER AND PENS,
OR THIS LAPTOP
TO TROLL ME.
AND TEST THE WORDS.
WHERE DO THEY LAND IN YOUR BODY?
WILL THEY MOVE YOU TOO?
WHAT ARE THE FOOTNOTES?
I AM INTERESTED IN our THOUGHT PROCESS BEING WITNESSED.
I AM INTERESTED IN CAPTURING AFFECT IN THE PRESENT. FOR A SEC.
I AM INTERESTED IN HOW WORDS MOVE BEYOND THE SPACE OF THE PAGE, THE INTERNET, AND THE DIABOLICAL SPACE OF THIS MOMENT.
I AM DEPLOYING MY SHADOW, ALTER EGO, SCHPANDO, TO ASSIST ME.
SHE’S A REAL JERK.
CAN BE ANYWAY.
I CAN’T GET AWAY FROM HER.
SHE DOESN’T SPEAK
BUT SHE CAN BE VERY LOUD.
HELP ME HEAR WHAT SHE IS SAYING.
So, the audience had the option of coming up to the laptop, or writing with paper and pens (the paper and pens option was much more connected to the physicality of the spectator – an important realization).
I made a video of the scrolling text video from the thesis paper. It took about 40 minutes to scroll, so there was lots of time to read, watch, interact, and let the focus shift without missing too much of the paper’s content.
Beside the video there was a ‘TROLL EDIT BOX’ where Schpando, and audience members, could type edits, footnotes, questions, etc. in real time, and alongside the scrolling text. Together, we appropriated the text together, and induced the body to inform our thinking processes.
The performance ‘frame’ I was working with:
- 1 section of the paper, built from 1 choreographic directive
- 1 related video (that I shot from the process while I was thinking about this stuff)
- 1 related image (that I also shot during the process)
The sections of the paper I used: "Femininity and Shame/ Slips and Iconic Poses", "Up to go down, down to go up/ Compression from above, motivation from below", and "Thrusting from vague points of leadership"
Some important things:
- position the laptop in the background so it's less intimidating for the audience to approach it
- performing the paper is one way to disseminate it, and keep it alive
- because this is a live edit, don’t worry about inundating the audience with the too-much-ness of my process. They will, and have, picked up on the things that were resonant. I’m interested in this subjective ‘filtering’
- the whole event, in its continuous slowness, has a meditative affect. It induced the body of the viewer, or the ones I spoke to anyway.
- the way I affect the viewer, and they affect me, can be captured
- Schpando is a re-presentation, and she only speaks to me, or through me. Her voice is disembodied, and when her voice is heard via the audio recordings of this past year, her body is not visible. There’s something about this disembodied voice, and silent embodied presence in performance, that is potent… more on this later…
- this could go on forever. It is a practice
- my paper is alive, so I don’t need to pin it down in complete, formed, sentences
- Schpando is like the shadow I’m trying to outrun. I need the audience to help me find the tree to sit under.
- I am surrendering to allowing the audience to change me. This surrender relates to the present moment, and accepting its influx.